Gary Garretson peacefully passed away in his sleep Wednesday, November 4, 2020 in Morris, Illinois. Gary was born on April 21, 1952 in Streator, Illinois to Robert and Mary (Kever) Garretson. His family had roots in farming, mining and manufacturing, Gary was blessed with parents who encouraged his love of learning and reading which enabled him to be excel academically. They were also excellent role models whose teachings were deep in Gary’s character.
Gary met his wife Kim when they were students at Illinois State University. They were engaged a month after their first date and were married in 1975. Kim likes to say she chased Gary, but he let her catch him. After college, he attended Washington University Law School. Gary was a talented litigator with a passion for the law and a love for the courtroom. Gary spent 10 years in the LaSalle County State’s Attorney’s office, eight of them as First Assistant to Gary Peterlin. The two men developed a strong friendship, and in many ways this relationship was at least partially responsible for his alignment with the Republican party. In 2002, Gary ran as a Republican for Grundy County State’s Attorney. Unfortunately, he lost, but he was always very proud of his effort.
In 1988, Gary left LaSalle County and started work in private practice in Morris. Most of his work still enabled him to litigate in the courtroom. He loved being challenged to find case law to support his client’s cases. Sometimes this led to establishing new precedent. Poor health forced Gary to end his law career in 2011, and he was devastated. Fortunately Gary had his loving and growing family to fill that gap. Gary and Kim were blessed with four wonderful children, Suzie (Dan) Pretekin, Maureen (Kris) Johansen, John (Susan) Garretson and Dan Garretson. Additionally they have four awesome grandchildren that loved their “Bumpa”, Brighton Garretson, Vivian and Everett Pretekin, and Declan Johansen. Gary’s brother Kevin Garretson was also an important person in Gary’s life. They were always close, but became more so when Gary and Kim moved into his house in 2011. Together Kevin and Kim teamed up to make sure Gary had the best life possible.
In his final years, Gary and Kim would reflect on their life together and what they did right and wrong. They decided they had no regrets and would not change anything, except they maybe should have bought stock in Microsoft! At the end of the day when you can say you have been happily married to the love of your life for 45 years, raised four bright, honest, moral children who are productive members of society and who not only still love their parents but actually like to spend time with them, then you have had a great life.
Aqua cremation rites have been accorded. The family will celebrate Gary's life in April near his birthday. More details will follow as the date becomes nears.
An online guest book has been made for the Garretson Family, where you may sign the guest book, share memories and photographs. You can access this by visiting the website at www.ucdaviscallahan.com. Arrangements have been entrusted with U. C. Davis-Callahan Funeral Home located at 301 West Washington St. Morris Illinois.